Divisive to the End

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Peru’s top court ordered Tuesday the “immediate” release – defying an international court’s decision – of controversial former President Alberto Fujimori, who was imprisoned for crimes against humanity, Reuters reported.

The Peruvian Constitutional Court essentially reinstated a 2017 pardon, which was opposed by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR).

Fujimori was president of Peru from 1990 to 2000. One of the nation’s most divisive politicians, he has been both praised for reviving the country’s economy through his neo-liberal policies and criticized for his authoritarian rule, especially for sterilization campaigns targeting Indigenous communities.

He was impeached in 2000 on accusations of corruption and “moral incapacity” and lived in exile until 2007, Le Monde explained.

He was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2009 for ordering the massacre of 25 people in 1991 and 1992 while his administration was fighting the Shining Path guerillas.

The former president, 85, has suffered from health issues, including cancer of the tongue.

In 2017, former President Pablo Kuczynski granted him a Christmas Eve pardon, launching a dramatic legal saga in which the Constitutional Court battled against local courts and the IACHR to uphold it.

For example, the Court previously issued a ruling in Fujimori’s favor in 2022, but the ruling was later suspended amid pressure from the IACHR.

Now, the ruling is irreversible.

Meanwhile, human rights groups and victims’ families expressed outrage, saying the ruling defies international organizations that have called for justice for victims of state violence.

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